There are things a person can see with one’s eyes that cannot be unseen. Ever again. Like, there’s not enough bleach in the world with which to scrub my eyeballs.
This morning as I walked my daughter over to our neighbour-fox’s house to catch her ride to school, along the same short path we always use, I spied a man in the very sparse bushes leaning against the brick wall of a house. I wasn’t immediately alarmed – I’ve seen him before – but with a quick glance here and there, in a half second I realised the guy, half squatting, was busy taking a dump, and I’d just caught him mid-wipe.
I cried, “Sir! Really?! Uch…” as we hurried past him. Ava Scarlett looked up at me, asking what had happened… I don’t think she even saw him, really. I said, “Nothing, let’s go, we’re late…” and just kept on walking.
After handing her over to my kind neighbour-fox and quickly telling her what I’d just seen, spelling out the word C-R-A-P so the kids wouldn’t be any the wiser, she asked me what I’d do next. I thought it best to catch up to him, and tell him to use the facilities at the community centre a few streets over next time. Yes, that’s what I’ll do, I thought. I bid my people farewell, and I walked back through the park, noticing his pile of loose stools in the grass. Diarreah.
*vomits in mouth*
And indeed, I did see him just up the street, sifting through each recycling box set at the curb, looking for valuable bottles and cans. He always has massive clear plastic bags hanging off each side of his bicycle. He looks to be well into his sixties, if not older. He doesn’t look like a homeless guy – his jacket is a bit soiled, as are his sneakers, but he wears a signet ring on his pinky finger, and he’s got on a shirt with buttons down the front. He’s got a round belly. He looks like someone’s grandpa.
I walked up to him, prepared for… I don’t even know what, but I braced myself just the same.
“Monsieur? S’il vous plait… that’s… disgusting, you know?!”
He looked me straight in the face with a sad look. “Je m’excuse… I could not wait…”
“Sir. Really… you can use Centre Greene just la…” I indicate the direction with my hand, waving him that-a-way, and shrug, letting my body go slack as my palms slap my thighs. “Mais, voyons donc!” (Translates as: Come on!)
“I’ve been sick. Diarreah… I couldn’t wait… I’m sorry.”
I had nothing to say. What could I say?! I looked back at him blankly, and then turned and walked away.
I knew if I didn’t say something to this man, I’d have regretted it all day. And I do have compassion for him. I mean, I suppose such a thing could happen to anyone – if you’re sick? You’re sick. Are you gonna crap your pants instead? He’s not a drug addict or a derelict, wayward sort of person. I think he collects bottles and cans to supplement his income. Hard times befall lots of people… including the elderly. He doesn’t look like the sort of person who doesn’t know any better, and I didn’t really want to embarrass him… but this isn’t a riddle-me-this situation of if a man takes a crap in the woods, and there’s no one there to smell is, did it really happen?
Hells to the YES it really happened! I know, because there’s a pile of human crap in the park where my kids play, right now. And I don’t mean in a secret spot, far from where they tread. Nay, they march directly into that area daily. Ack. Ack, I say!!
This is all very disturbing. I’m not even sure what to do now. Do I… do I get… a shovel or something?!
What would you do?!